Edmonton, AB, Canada (4E Sports) – Edmonton Oilers center Sam Gagner will be out indefinitely due to a broken jaw suffered from a wild swing by Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian in preseason play Saturday.
Kassian’s play on Gagner was deemed flat-out reckless and dangerous, getting him a high-sticking double minor on the play.
Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said he expected an immediate and collective response from his team when an opponent takes a run at an Oiler.
“If one guy is getting pushed around, you want all five of your guys in there,” said Eakins.
With Gagner out indefinitely, the Oilers will have to assemble a lineup featuring a combination of Taylor Hall, Boyd Gordon, Anton Lander, Will Acton, Mark Arcobello and Ryan Hamilton at center.
Losing a second-line centre is especially bad for the Oilers because the pivot position was already one of the team’s weakest spots.
There’s a strong chance that the Oilers scour the waiver wire in the coming days and consider other options such as trade and unrestricted free agency.